Sony made a push in smartphones in the fourth quarter as it pursues a strategy of becoming the global leader in mobile entertainment.
Sony bought out its smartphone partner Ericsson in 2011 and introduced the Xperia TL in the fourth quarter. It recently announced the addition of the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL smartphones which will be available this spring.
(Source: Mike Freeman, The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Citigroup’s Kota Ezawa raised the stock to Buy from Neutral:
(1) Sony may take on more risk as a result of the weakening Yen. The Yen has declined to 91 to the dollar from a rate of about 80 back in December, 2012.
(2) Sony shares have already surged on the weaker Yen: the ordinary shares are up 47% this year, the SONY ADRs are up 34%.
(3) But the stock’s multiple of book value is just 0.6 times based on the projected book value at the end of this fiscal year in March, well below that of comparables such as Sharp at 2.3 times, Hitachi at 1.3 times, and Nintendo at 1 times.
(4) A new smartphone, the “Xperia Z,” running Android software, will lead Sony back to smartphone health, perhaps at the expense of Apple.